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Free Black Communities and the Underground RailroadThe Geography of Resistance$
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Cheryl Janifer LaRoche

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038044

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038044.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad

Cheryl Janifer LaRoche

University of Illinois Press

This book explores the free Black communities in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio and their associations with the Underground Railroad. Focusing on the Black settlements in Rocky Fork and Miller Grove in Illinois, Lick Creek in Indiana, and Poke Patch in Ohio, it considers how the Underground Railroad movement secretly operated in conjunction with free Blacks and their historic Black churches. The book uses vital elements of what it calls the “geography of resistance” to examine the mechanisms of escape from slavery from an alternative perspective. By drawing on geography in combination with archaeology, community and church histories, and traditional Underground Railroad stories, the book makes visible unrecognized parallel connections between free Black communities and larger better-known abolitionist centers.

Keywords:   slavery, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Underground Railroad, Black settlements, free Blacks, Black churches, resistance, slavery

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